Team 16: Dynamic Regulation of Body Axis Morphogenesis primary interest is to understand the role of Environmental Cues for Axis Morphogenesis. 
To this end, we use cutting-edge technologies to study axis dynamics from the tissue to the transcriptional levels through a newly discovered cell type the NMPs.



We use the chicken as a model for studying axis morphogenesis. While birds look quite different from humans, early developmental stages are very similar (right picture).
Our ability to manipulate and challenge the embryo directly in the egg during axis development allows us to pose relevant questions to understand human congenital malformations linked to axial development.  We employ cutting-edge techniques of live imaging, lineage tracing, quantitative image analysis, and single-cell RNA sequencing to uncover how NMP cells form the body of vertebrates. 

We identified the NeuroMesodermal Progenitors (NMP) in the chick model as a population of cells in the Anterior Primitive Streak (PS) that become the main progenitors in the tailbud (Tb) to form the body axis. (Left)

Once in the tailbud, the bipotent NMP gives rise to cells in both the Neural Tube (NT) & PreSomitic Mesoderm (PSM) that are the embryonic precursors of the Spinal Cord & Musculoskeletal tissue, respectively. (Right)

Current Projects : Role of Environmental cues in ...

... the fate and lineage of NMPs

Using individual NMP color labeling, we can study the fate and lineage of the NMP cells in vivo.
NT: Neural Tube; S : Somite; HL : HindLimb; 





... the dynamics of NMP cells

NMP cells morph into the tailbud to become the main progenitors of the body axis through peculiar cell dynamics, i.e. low ingression, low convergence, and high cell division.

... the cellular states forming the body axis

Single-cell analysis of the cells forming the posterior body identifies the NMP cells and their contribution to both the Neural and Mesodermal lineages in chicken and mouse.


Yes!!! We speak English in the lab (and a little bit of French)

We seek to provide an inclusive lab environment with labmates from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and identities.

Research thematics


Last Name First Name Position Contact
Jonas CRUZEL profile picture CRUZEL Jonas Engineer
Charlene GUILLOT profile picture GUILLOT Charlene Principal Investigator


  • 2021
    • A. Binagui-Casas, A. Dias, C. Guillot, V. Metzis and D. Saunders, “Building consensus in neuromesodermal research: Current advances and future biomedical perspectives.”, Current opinion in cell biology, vol. 73 , pp. 133–140, 2021.
    • C. Guillot, Y. Djeffal, A. Michaut, B. Rabe and O. Pourquie, “Dynamics of primitive streak regression controls the fate of neuromesodermal progenitors in the chicken embryo.”, eLife, vol. 10 , 2021.
  • 2019
    • A. Mongera, A. Michaut, C. Guillot, F. Xiong and O. Pourquie, “Mechanics of Anteroposterior Axis Formation in Vertebrates.”, Annual review of cell and developmental biology, vol. 35 , pp. 259–283, 2019.
  • 2017
    • J. Chal, C. Guillot and O. Pourquie, “PAPC couples the segmentation clock to somite morphogenesis by regulating N-cadherin-dependent adhesion.”, Development, vol. 144 (4) , pp. 664–676, 2017.
  • 2013
    • C. Guillot and T. Lecuit, “Mechanics of epithelial tissue homeostasis and morphogenesis.”, Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 340 (6137) , pp. 1185–9, 2013.
    • C. Guillot and T. Lecuit, “Adhesion disengagement uncouples intrinsic and extrinsic forces to drive cytokinesis in epithelial tissues.”, Dev. Cell, vol. 24 (3) , pp. 227–41, 2013.